At the time of the keyword research, I used the Google keyword planner for my keyword research. It does the job, even though it is slow for intensive keyword research.  For the Long Tail Pro users,, I think the Keyword Competitiveness (the “KC”) number was about 32 – 34 back in July for the primary keyword.  The KC is higher the last time I checked about 34 – 36.  (I do use Long Tail Pro now. I highly recommend it since it’s the standard tool for keyword research. Click here for a free trial via this affiliate link.)

Affiliate marketing is an area that even the most seasoned bloggers can improve upon. Plus, most bloggers aren't making anywhere near the amount of affiliate income that they should be and are leaving money on the table. If you want to grow your affiliate income, there are numerous tips and strategies that I share in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.


Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.

Another survey from VigLink offers a closer look at just how much income affiliate marketers are bringing in. According to the survey, 9% generated more than $50,000 in affiliate income in 2016. The majority, 65%, said they were making between 5% and 20% of their annual revenue from affiliate programs. The survey also showed a link between timeframe and revenues. Among the publishers with the largest revenues, 60% had been utilizing affiliate-marketing strategies for five years or more. 
I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.

Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
When do you want to get started?  If you are just starting and have no audience then some of the programs may not accept your application to become an affiliate, while others will let you get set up in minutes.  If you want to get started straight away then make sure you’re applying for programs that are less restrictive. Generally the larger, network style places will enable you to get going quickly while specific niche programs may require you to have a certain audience size or characteristics.
hey sean, am a newbie who is so ethusistic about online marketing. great post , i must commend , it came in handy. through your post i clearly understand that an affiliate mustr have a website and a blog as a platform for promoting the good and services. here the thing with me , i dont have either of them and am asking ….. is it advisable for me to delve in affilate marketing peradventure i get a blog running now …?
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you'll be wise to invest in a managed WordPress hosting plan from a company with great service like Kinsta, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.

If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.
Every ClickBank product has a commission rate that is set by the vendor, ranging from 1% to 75%. When you drive a sale to that product, ClickBank processes the sale, applies its charges, then calculates the commission rate based on the remaining net sale amount. Here's an example of how much you'll earn on a one-time purchase product with a 55% commission rate:
Etsy: While Etsy's popularity has declined recently, it's still a great resource for selling handmade items online. No need for complex ecommerce sites or merchant accounts or any sort of automation. The company takes a commission of every sale and charges a small listing fee per item. But many still use Etsy as their primary source of income. The best part is that you can also sell digital products on here such as poster designs. 
Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.
If you're serious about making money online, start a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest and most sustainable income sources. As long as the blog is setup the right way, in the right niche, with the right content targeted at the right audience, and the offer is complementary to the content, you could make a tremendous amount of passive income from a blog.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic. You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales. 

A popular tactic to make money on social media is to pay for advertising affiliate products. Create ads for particular affiliate products that are big sellers and have a high yield. Then target these ads at specific custom audiences to ensure your ads are viewed by those who will have an interest in the product you are promoting. If viewers click through your from advert to the product page and make a purchase then you will earn an affiliate fee.


The best way to ensure you make sales from Amazon is to write about things that people are actively looking to purchase, or about something someone might find interesting and be persuaded about purchasing (for example: someone looking to learn about the civil war through an article you’d written could be likely to purchase civil war related products through an Amazon sales cap somewhere in your article).
I think content marketing is absolutely huge for affiliate’s, especially going into 2016, I think it will increasingly become something that will have to be adopted to gain domain trust, authority and good SERP rankings. Google loves quality content and if you want your website to stand the test of time, white-hat SEO is a must and content marketing is king!
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual affiliate links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.

At the time of the keyword research, I used the Google keyword planner for my keyword research. It does the job, even though it is slow for intensive keyword research.  For the Long Tail Pro users,, I think the Keyword Competitiveness (the “KC”) number was about 32 – 34 back in July for the primary keyword.  The KC is higher the last time I checked about 34 – 36.  (I do use Long Tail Pro now. I highly recommend it since it’s the standard tool for keyword research. Click here for a free trial via this affiliate link.)
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.

With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.


Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a great learning tool, even if you are a brand new blogger. By taking this course, you will start off blogging the correct way. You can learn from my affiliate marketing mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income by being an affiliate. Through taking this course you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you'll learn exactly what you need to know about affiliate marketing. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course!
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This is a more technical way to make money online then most of the other strategies given. But you can get an excellent course on how to make it happen with Steve Chou’s Create a Profitable Online Store program. Steve and his wife have built a highly successful online store – selling wedding napkins – and he’s anxious to provide insider secrets to people who sign up for his course..
Amazon will have you work on micro-projects that require some sort of human interaction. Tasks can include translating a paragraph into English (or another language), rating the search results for certain keywords, or reworking an article. The tasks are simple, and you will be paid a small amount to complete each. But if you do enough tasks quickly, you can make a respectable amount of money.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
By using Thrive Leads (made by one of our favorite theme developers) we set up a multi-step pop-up box that starts by asking a question about a problem that we know many of our visitors have. If they say “yes” we then ask a couple more clarifying questions about their personal preferences, and then at the end we drop them on a landing page that delivers a personalized product recommendation (Amazon affiliate link) based on their answers.
I just use fiverr. I will most likely start using a service like The Hoth moving forward to start my new projects. It will cut down on the time I spend creating the Web 2.0 blogs, articles, etc… I hope a combo of fiverr, plus the Hoth, plus some PBN links will take care of the link building needs. I have used automated software for backlinking – Ultimate Demon – but it is only used for links in the lower tiers. The backlinks from Ultimate Demon would never point to a money site.
Some subjects are much better paid than others, so although you may love the idea of writing about travel (badly paid) a better bet would be a niche like finance (much higher rates of pay). Check out the Pro Blogger job board for high paid freelance writing jobs – other places to look might be Textbroker or you can look at the “gigs” section on Craigslist.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]
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